We are ALL Responsible for Literacy…

Yesterday I was able to get a spot in the upcoming 2013 Muskoka Novel Marathon! This annual WRITERS HELPING READERS event has become hugely popular over the past year or so. It trucked on for years, a wonderful and truly enriching event with an enormously important cause. But last year…last year there was a spark of some sort. NOW writers everywhere are scrambling to attend.

The word is out. This annual fundraising event for literacy has always been about raising funds for the Muskoka region’s literacy programs. This was always its number one reason for existing. What writers have learned over the years is that the bonus of being there, of actually getting BUM IN CHAIR and writing, make it a mutual beneficial event! The weekend becomes a workshop for writers…an oasis where they can spend 72 hours WRITING. And in the company of writers. It’s all about COMMUNITY. We come together and we write alone. It’s the shared time…when we all sit down and break bread together…that one realizes there is magic in community. And between these communal settings, there are the quiet wild mind writing spats. It’s win-win for the writers involved.

And did I mention that there are 35 writers crazy enough to do this! 72 hours in one room together…writing, laughing, crying, shouting, sleeping, eating, drinking, shrieking, blubbering, and all the other ings!

We each collect as much money through sponsorships as we can…because we always know that it’s the literacy cause that comes first. It comes before the It was a dark and stormy night. It comes before The End. It comes before Chapter 17.

Please…consider making a donation to one of the 35 writers this year. It doesn’t have to be me. We don’t care who brings in the money, as long as the money is brought in. Imagine being an adult in this techno-overkill world and being unable to read all the various mediums around you. The fear, the self-loathing, the shame, the humiliation, the anger, the hostility, the frustration. It leaves me speechless when I really–REALLY–stop to think about it. Take 10 minutes of your day today and analyze it. How many words did you read in that ten minutes? How many signs, ads, rules and regulations, ingredients, guidelines, liner notes, job applications, manuals, websites, newspapers, books, magazines, TV screens DID YOU READ?! IT’s everywhere. Words are everywhere. Put yourself into the shoes of someone who CANNOT READ–as they attempt to navigate one day in the life of a 2013 human being.

It’s hellishly scary, isn’t it!

YMCA of SIMCOE COUNTY is putting an end to this hell for so many people. Us writers…we want to help them out. SO…I come to you today as someone effortlessly–miraculously–putting words on this computer screen. Someone who is pleading you to help this MOST IMPORTANT of causes. Please give to one of the MUSKOKA NOVEL MARATHON writers. Any of us.

CLICK ON THE CHAIRS BELOW TO BE TAKEN TO MY PERSONAL CANADAHELPS GIVINGPAGE. This page is set up for my sponsors to donate to the cause:

Please donate – Help us in the fight against illiteracy!

To date, this marathon has raised a whopping $65,000.00! But the programs don’t receive a lot of funding. Your dollars go 100% to the cause. Help a writer help a fellow being become a READER!

Thank you in advance! And have a wonderful day!

I leave you with the movie created at a past MUSKOKA NOVEL MARATHON. Watch it! You’ll be glad you did!

By Kevin Craig

Author, Poet, Playwright. Author of The Camino Club, Billions of Beautiful Hearts, and Book of Dreams, all from Duet Books, the LGBTQ Young Adult imprint of Chicago Review Press. Other books: Pride Must Be A Place, Half Dead & Fully Broken, Burn Baby Burn Baby, The Reasons, Sebastian's Poet, and Summer on Fire.


  1. Wow, Kev, I had no idea the MNM had raised that much money… let alone public awareness.

    It has been my honour and privileged over all these past years to sponsor you and this worthwhile cause.

    Never stop doing what you do. The world is a better place for having you as one of its champions.


    Chef Deb.

  2. Thank you so much, Deb! Such a lovely thing to say! ((Deb)) < This means I'm hugging you! (-; See you Friday at WEWL!

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